Chicago, September 28, 2008: St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago’s Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Mar Jacob Angadiath sent a following appeal to all peace lovers in Chicagoland to join him for a Peace Rally on September 28, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Syro Malabar Cathedral Grounds:
“As you are well aware the persecution of our Christian brethren and the destruction of our churches, convents, orphanages and other Christian institutions are continuing unabated in Orissa, Karnataka and in some parts of Kerala. We cannot remain silent spectators of such gruesome cruelties inflicted on innocent people. We have to make our people and local congregations aware of the indescribable cruelty of this hatred and violence against Christians. It was the desire of many people who have contacted me to act together to bring to the attention of the Christian faithful here the atrocities of this cruel rampage.
Hence may I request to join me along with all the peace loving congregations to show our solidarity and support to our brothers and sisters in India. I am calling for a ‘Peace Rally’ and a ‘Prayer Vigil’ on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 1:30 P.M. at the Syro-Malabar Cathedral Grounds, 5000 St. Charles Road, Bellwood, Illinois.
Please be kind enough to make this announcement during this Sunday’s service and encourage the congregation to join the ‘Peace Rally’ on Sept. 28th, 2008.
For more information, you may visit: www.fiacona.org.
Yours in Christ,
+Bishop Jacob Angadiath
Bishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago
P.S: I invite your suggestions and cooperation to form a plan of action to address this issue more effectively, so that such painful situations may not happen again in the future.”
Chicago, September 18: Many Christian leaders from various organizations including MKCA members united under the banner of Federation of Indian American Christians of North America (FIACONA) at the resident of Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Jacob Angadiath of Syro Malabr Catholic Mission on September 17 at 5pm.
A deeply saddened Catholic Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Jacob Angadiath of Syro Malabar Catholic Mission, representing more than 50 thousand families in North America, having the largest geographical jurisdiction in North America, calls for a day of prayer vigil, fasting and a peace rally in Syro Malabar Cathedral, 5000 W. St. Charles Rd., Bellwood, Illinois, on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 1.30 P. M.
Narrating all the recent atrocities and persecutions on Christians in Orissa, Mangalore, Udupi, Kerala and other parts of India, the Bishop unequivocally, condemn the persecutions in India. He remarked that these atrocities are not only against the innocent Christians, but also on the Indian democracy and its secular image. He urges all Christians in India to pray, to refrain from any reactions and hope for a peaceful resolution.
Fr. George Madathiprambil, Vicar General of the Diocese urge all Christians to unite under one umbrella, FIACONA to mobilize this movement of creating an awareness in the recent persecutions and atrocities against the Christians and its institutions; and to seek peace and harmony in India.
Mr. Jos Anthony Puthenveetil, the Regional Vice President of FIACONA urge the communities to get organize regardless of their religious beliefs. This is not only a crisis for the Christians; but also for every citizens of India. India is a secular country. We do have religious freedom. A minority fanatic group is trying to disturb the peace and harmony in India. We the peace loving Christians in the United States condemn this violent attack on those innocent victims in India.
Mr .Varghese Chacko, one of the Boards of Directors of FIACONA said the victims in India should be protected by the state government and the central government.
Fr. Richard Vaz who was serving in Orissa for the last 29 years said that many of those victims survived with injuries are misplaced from their huts and they live in refugee shelters in the forests. Many of the priests and nuns those escaped are living in various cities due to the continued death threat; including the Catholic Archbishop of Bhuwaneswar.
Mr .Austin D’Souza, a FIACONA supporter said; the atrocity against the Catholic Churches in Mangalore was very demeaning and deplorable. The militant groups of youngsters entered into the church in Mangalore, destroyed the Crucifix and threw the Holy Sacrament into the floor. Police too entered the church and indiscriminately charged the devotees who gathered there for prayers.
“Since many Indian Churches and American local Churches are expected to join in the peace seeking rally, this will be a history making event” said Rev. M.J. Thomas of CSI Church. He requested everyone to join this history making event in Chicago and show their solidarity to fellow Christians in India.
For more information please contact Fr. George Madathiparambil: 630 2791453, Fr. Richard Vaz : email@example.com
MKCA Condemns violence
Chicago, Septemebr 18: Followed by the FIACONA meeting, MKCA members gathered for an emergency meeting at the residence of president Larry Mascarenhas. Austin D’Souza Prabhu said a moment of prayer for the victims of Church attacks. Members unanimously passed a motion condemning the attacks on Catholics Churches in Mangalore. Members have also decided to put a pressure on appropriate authorities for a judicial probe into the Church attacks and police brutalities.
Rev. Fr. Richie Vaz explained the gory situation prevailing in Orissa and he intends to bring this issue before the United State Senate through Catholic Bishops conference in US.
Stany D’Souza presented a draft memorandum to be submitted to the President and the Prime Minister of India.
“It is disturbing to note the betrayal by District Administration and the Police force in Mangalore. The morale in government machinery is at its lowest. We cannot do much from here at the moment, but to pray to Almighty to grant them wisdom” said Larry Mascarenhas.
Austin Prabhu requested all the members to attend the rally with their friends and families and show the solidarity.